Tuesday night, four A&M Consolidated students crashed on Koppe Bridge Road when the car they were in lost control and hit a culvert. The vehicle exploded, and two of the four students were killed.
One morning later, an appropriately grey sky loomed over a somber school and its students.
"They just feel shock right now, that this isn't real," said Rhonda Flasowski, a counselor at Consol. "Some of them are just beginning to feel sad, but I think a lot of the kids are spending time together remembering how special these two students were."
Those two were 15-year-old Ashlee Kingsbury, and 18-year-old Tim Pratt.
It was last year that Pratt was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Neighbors came together for a yard sale to raise money for the family at their home, one they've since been evicted from. All the family's funds were going to Tim and his mother, who was also found to have a brain tumor. Consol classmates also came together for Tim last year, paying to wear hats in his honor, the proceeds going to his family.
Wednesday, the students came together for Tim and Ashley, as did the staff.
"I've known all four kids involved for 10 years, all the way through elementary school," said Principal Ron Fox, "so it really has, personally, been challenging. It's been a tough day."
Throughout the day, Principal Ron Fox kept students up to date on the situation. During his last announcement of the day, he told the school, "I could not be prouder of how each of you were able to support each other and us, and so I'm just extremely glad that I work here, and I appreciate each one of you."
"We want to give them a chance to talk about it, to be validated that what they're feeling is normal, and that others feel it, too," said Flasowski.
"I think everyone of us has dealt with it differently today," Fox said, "but the common thread is that it has felt like a family, and people have been there to support each other."
Letters went home with students explaining the situation, because the grieving process doesn't stop at the schoolhouse doors.
"I think families do need to talk about this together, and to know that every person in our school is affected by this," said Flasowski.
And that affect will undoubtedly be a lasting one, and one which Consol will undoubtedly deal with together.
The other two students in the car, Jennifer Pratt and Courtney Reynolds, were last known to be in stable condition at the College Station Med. Jennifer is the younger sister of Tim Pratt.
A fund has been set up at Citibank if you'd like to help out the Pratt family. It is in the name of Judy Pratt.
An anonymous donor has agreed to cover the costs of Tim Pratt's funeral.
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